RichmondCC invites community to make ornaments for ‘Our Heroes’ Tree’

By: Wylie Bell - Richmond Community College

Hamlet, N.C. (Sept. 12, 2018) – While Christmas is still months away, Richmond Community College is inviting people to come out and make ornaments next week for a different kind of tree, a tree that honors America’s military heroes.

Our Heroes’ Tree® is a national initiative that bridges military and civilian communities by honoring the service and sacrifice of U.S. service members and their families. Communities, classrooms, families and groups come together to discover and celebrate the names and stories of family members, friends, neighbors, and others who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. They create remembrance ornaments that are hung on a tree honoring the legacies of American service people. RichmondCC will hold a special ceremony Sept. 24 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Cole Auditorium to present Our Heroes’ Tree® and its ornaments to the public.

Anyone who would like to make an ornament for the tree is invited to come by the Student Lounge on main campus Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. Materials to make an ornament will be provided, but people are also welcome to bring items such as a picture to personalize an ornament.

While on campus, people are also encouraged to stop by the College Library and check out a display of resources that RichmondCC has available for veterans, services members, military families and professionals working with these groups.

After the Our Heroes’ Tree® program on Sept. 24, the RichmondCC Small Business Center will hold a Lunch and Learn seminar, “Entrepreneur Benefits for Veterans,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This presentation will target veterans considering starting their own business or those who already own a business. The following organizations will have representatives providing information: North Carolina Military Business Center, Veterans Business Outreach Center, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, and the SBA.

Our Heroes’ Tree co-founder Marlene Lee and Keith Midberry will present “Death, Dying and Grief with a Focus on Honoring Veterans on Their End-of-Life Journeys” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. They will discuss perspectives on death, dying and grief in response to common myths and questions, and explore why and how the unique aspects of veterans may relate to the end-of-life journey. Topics

include grief timespan, communication, patriotic symbolism, hospice, suicide and more. This seminar is approved for Continuing Education Credits for the Certified Family Life Educator program through the National Council on Family Relations.

To pre-register for these seminars, visit www.richmondcc.edu/heroestree.

The tree will remain on display in the Cole Auditorium lobby until Veterans Day on Nov. 11. People can pick up their ornaments the week immediately after Veterans Day when the display ends.

Wylie Bell is the director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.

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Wylie Bell

Richmond Community College